"The Conscious Sedation"

By Thrash-head

Svencho. One of the greatest extreme metal vocalists of the last 15 years. The man has such a unique, Jeff Walker-inspired scream coupled with one of the most intensely guttural growls ever to be captured in a recording studio. Because of this, I have developed a fascination with his work and I always check out what he's involved in, for better or worse. In-Quest? Underrated. Leng T'che? Overrated. Aborted? Pioneering. So upon hearing he had yet another new band for me to check out...of course I jumped at it.

The premise of this new band is that he and his wife, Miri Milman, formerly of Israeli goth metal band Distorted, are going to share vocals over music that while still retaining the brutality of Sven's other bands, takes less of a death metal path and follows more along the lines of Chimaira, Mnemic, even In-Quest in terms of riffage. Not a very original formula at first glance, but I genuinely can't think of another band quite along these lines. If you had to put a percentage on it, you could say that maybe 25-35% of all vocals belong to Miri, who has a vocal style very much in the same vein as Lacuna Coil's Christina Scabbia. Unfortunately, that's also how she's being marketed a bit by the band, which could lead to problems down the road with getting her painted into a corner. That being said, her finer moments come when she steps slightly outside that box with a warmer, more soulful tone like she does in "(N)ether." Her voice also offsets Svencho's typical brutal growls, which you only need to hear the intro to first single "The Apex Doctrine" to know just how extreme and downright aggressive this album can get. Everything on this album tends to be damn near perfect in terms of being done tastefully, even right down to the guitar solos which although they have the occasional noodling moment, seem to be more there for atmosphere than anything else. The drumming courtesy of Malignancy's Mike Heller, is likewise tasteful; tons of double-bass histrionics and only the occasional blast beat which seems out of character considering the lineup we're involved with here,

All in all, I'd say I truly love this disc. It's that kinda metal that you can't help but feel pumped up and adrenalized after hearing it. Can't wait for the next one...